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Two Old Men of Sinbad Tales

Posted on the 17 January 2020 by Mountain Publishing @mountainpublish

By Sazzad Haider

The world people have set off New Year with drollery of two old men. Both of them stupefied with joystick of video game, the button of electronic device to eliminate a portion of young population of the world.  One of player, Donald trump is now 73 while his opponent, Ali Hosseini Khamenei is 80 years old.  The killing Qasem Soleimani, Major General of Iranian Revolutionary Guard and shock wave of incidents were just pre-planned program of two old men’s war game. In retaliation of the US Embassy attack, the drone of the US air-force killed Qasem Soleimani on 3 January in Baghdad.

Soleimani was on a not-so-secret visit to Iraq to coordinate with Iraqi politician and his militia allies. According to some unconfirmed media sources, before the drone attack the US intelligence had intercepted conversation between Qasem Soleimani and Ali Khamenei.  Why Qasem Soleimani, the USA termed most wanted terrorist leader, did frequently and openly visit in Iraq where 5000 US troops are deployed.  Why he ignored the US threat to retaliate the attack on the USA Embassy? Did he get a guarantee of his security from the USA or other countries? Or did Iran, claimed as a cyber-equipped country, percept the abilities of the USA intelligence to intercept the telecommunication?  Did they deliberately ignore to take any preventive measure?

The USA blamed Qasem Soleimani for recent attack on Saudi oil installations, killing of the US citizens, shooting down the USA drone and his other actions in past against the USA interest in Middle East. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Kaiz accused Iran for the US embassy attack. On the contrary, Qasem Soleimani was a remote ally of the USA, when he launched offense to eliminate the Sunni dominated ISIS.  Possibly, he maintained a link to communicate with the USA forces during the war against ISIS. After the fall of twin towers and the USA invention in Afghanistan, Soleimani took the opportunity to defeat the Taliban with the unconventional supports of the USA. He shared intelligence on Taliban military positions with his US counterpart. So, in perspective of the adversary between Iran and the USA, Soleimani was well connected with the USA intelligence or diplomatic missions. Thus, he might be over confident that the USA would not harm him.

The killing created a booming protest in Iran.  Sayyid Ali Khamemei, supreme leader of Iran vows revenge after the killing and he was weeping publicly.

However the killing of Soleimani left far-flung impact not only on Middle East politics but also internal politics of Iran.

Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran is the longest serving head of state in the Middle East. Iranian spiritual leader Ruhollah Khomeini selected Khamenei as his successor in 1989 and after the death of Khomeini, Ali Khamenei took his office in same year. According to Iranian constitution the top most leader is not elected by the people, the supreme leader is self-empowered to select his successor. So far, no body is selected openly as successor of 80 years old Ali Khamenei. It seemed ‘Ayatollah’ is the prime criteria for the supreme post Iran.

Qasem Soleimani, a major general of Iranian elite force was considered as most popular personality, may be surpassing the popularity of Iranian supreme leader Ayatolla Khamenei.

He was often believed more powerful than Iranian President or Chief of Army Staff. Iranian media reported that Qasem Soleimani was predicted as president candidate in 2013 presidential election. But he refused to run the election. Again, before 2017 presidential election some conservative supports begun campaigning for his candidacy. Soleimani again ruled out possibility of contesting for the post of president. “Always remain a simple soldier serving Iran and Islamic revolution”. He added.

Qasem Soleimani directly worked with Iranian supreme leader Ayatolla Khamenei and most influential person amongst Khamenei’s inner circle. Some believed that Soleimani was waiting for most lucrative post, the successor of Ayatolla Khamenei. The growing popularity of Soleimani, frightened some “Ayatolls’ and their followers who are waiting for getting nomination as successor of Supreme Leader.

As like Donald Trump, this faction of Iranian politicians sighed with relief at the killing of Qasem Soleimani.  Did they involve with the killing-mission of Trump?

Following the killing of Qasem Soleimani, pressure was mounting on Iranian government to take revenge against the USA.  Iranian cleverly released the pressure as they took revenge but tactically avoided full-scale war with the USA. Surprisingly the USA cooperated with Iran to stage a drama of revenge according to game plan of two old men.

On January 8, Iran launched Operation Martyr Soleimani to smash two USA military bases in Iraq. A dozen of Iranian ballistic missiles struck at the USA base but caused no American or Iraqi causalities. According to The Times of Israel the US troops were informed about the Iranian attack 2.5 hours before the strike. Iran disclosed it intention to Iraq and Iraqi official passed the information to the USA military. Iran deliberately flashed the plan to avoid the USA casualties and to avoid the USA revenge. According to game plan the Iranian ballistic missiles exploded freely in desolated military bases without any resistance. Surprisingly, the sophisticated air-defense system of the USA was totally inactivated to intercept the Iranian missile in air.

Following the attack Donald Trump, the USA President reacted on his Twitter.  “All is well!” he wrote in his childish Twitter . “Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!”

Ali Khamenei and Donald Trump, both old men need each other. The brutal killing of Qasem Soleimani has coined a great way for Ali Khamenie to consolidate his autocratic rule for next four of five years. Trump intention was to become a US hero before the presidential election.

Like the old man in the Sinbad tales, these two old men ride on world people shoulders and they have nothing to do.

About the Author

Sazzad Haider is a writer and filmmaker living in Bangladesh. He edits The Diplomatic Journal

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